So high


in their leafy silence


over Kells, over Durrow,


as the Vikings


raged south -


the old monks


made the alphabet


wild:


they dipped iron


into azure and


indigo: they gave strange


wings to their os


and es: their vowels


clung on with


talons and the thin


ribbed wolves


that had gone north


left their frozen winters


and were lured back


to their consonants.